REVIEW: A Rebel Few – As the Crow Flies (2016)

A multi-site event: Let us introduce you to A REBEL FEW.

KeepsMeAlive – Aaron’s review
BoppinsBlog – Boppin’s interview with ADAM SHORTREED of A REBEL FEW
BoppinsBlog – Boppin’s review

Scan_20160422A REBEL FEW – As the Crow Flies (2016 A Rebel Few)

Now here’s a local success story in the making!  Four guys with nine songs headed south to record their debut album in Texas with producer Sterling Winfield, whose name you might recognize.  He has Pantera, Damageplan, and Hellyeah albums on his resume, so it seems obvious that A Rebel Few were going for a heavy sound.  What they ended up with is one of the best sounding indi heavy rock albums you’ll likely get to hear.

There are Pantera influences, and you can hear some Zakk Wylde too.  What sets these guys apart is singer Raposo (just Raposo).  He’s more than just another melodic growler.  The world is full of those.  We have enough.  Raposo has depth and control, as well as expression.  He can do a smooth voice, not just the growls.  He’s world class.  He fits the band, who combine shredding with riffs, groove, heavy bass and drums.

All the songs are good, but there are some that really stand out.  “A Rebel Few” hits the highway with anti-matter propulsion, so furious it is.  Many of the riffs on this album sound Sabbathy in origin, and “Born Again” is one such moment.  “Empires Fall” is radio-ready riff rock.  There is some seriously good shit on this album, and it’s all crunchy and heavy on the low end.  What it lacks in originality, is made up for by the vocals.  Listen carefully; you will hear a serious amount of vocal quality that you don’t get out of the general rock herd.  When Raposo really gives’er, he almost sounds like a young John Bush.

This album will give you a burst of energy like one of those awful caffeine drinks…but good for you!  If you are not air-drumming or air-bassing or air-guitaring along, then you are not doing it right.  This review is taking longer than average to write, because you can’t type while you’re furiously air-drumming along with Chris Spiers.   As for the air-guitar part, I find lead shredder Barry Marton on his way to developing into a monster.  He can play it bluesy, he can play it slick.  The raw material is there and you can hear glimmers of depth between the blurs of notes.

The big surprise is saved for last, and it’s a doozy.  “Pure Revolution” would be a good title for a speedy rock number, but it’s just the opposite.  Touches of piano and light guitar introduce the only power ballad on the album, and it’s a good’er.  Maybe calling it a power ballad isn’t right, but it has ballady moments, and also powerful riffs, so why not?  There are heavy Dio guitar chugs, but also those quiet spaces where the vocals really get to come out.  Either way, it’s a kick-ass song.

Get this CD.  Use your fingers, Google the band “A Rebel Few”, and do what you gotta do to get this music in your ears today.

4/5 stars

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18 comments

      1. I love stoner rock, but sometimes the Sabbath influence gets to be too much. It is more subtle with these guys, and enough other influences in there to make a nice, refreshing sounding new band.

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  1. Hey thanks for the head’s up – I haven’t even heard of these guys and I’m making my summer play list as it’s starting to be convertible weather!

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